It was an emotional, tear-filled night for Garth Brooks as he, along with veteran country singer Connie Smith and keyboard player Hargus “Pig” Robbins were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday.
George Strait, Bob Seger and James Taylor assisted in honoring Brooks at the prestigious induction ceremony. In their introductions, according to The Tennessean, each had something powerful to say about the man who took country music by storm and became a household name.
“What I admire about Garth is his passion, he’s just never afraid to be passionate. I also love the fact that with his enormous success, his historic success, he’s still a really good guy. He wears it well.” ~ Bob Seger
“I think passion best describes him. He’s got it. You see it when he sings on TV or at concerts … I remember hearing about him on stage swinging on ropes and throwing things, and I said, ‘This is country music. Can you do that?’ He blew it up, man. Yes he could do that. And you can see it today in all the young acts that were influenced by you. It’s amazing.” ~ George Strait
James Taylor, accompanied by singers Robert Bailey, Vicki Hampton and Trisha Yearwood surprised the invitation-only crowd with a performance of Brooks’ #1 hit, “The River.”
“Garth, it’s a great honor to be here.” According to Country Music Hall of Fame, when Brooks’ wife Trisha Yearwood contacted Taylor to ask if he would perform at the ceremony, he replied, “God, I wouldn’t miss it.”
Garth shared, “I moved to this town for one reason and that was to get ‘Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old’ cut by George Strait.” As part of a very moving tribute, Strait sang that song for Garth.
It’s no secret that George Strait is Garth Brooks’ idol and hero. Brooks shared the story about hearing Strait for the first time during his freshman year in college. “’Unwound’came on the radio and it changed everything. From that point forward I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” he said. “I wanted to be George Strait so bad, man. And I have to say now, 20 years in the business under my own name, thank you very much, I still want to be George Strait so damn bad.”
Garth shared the spotlight at the Medallion ceremony with inductees Connie Smith and keyboard player Hargus “Pig” Robbins, who were also honored by a star-studded line-up of country music friends. Performances honoring the trio included Ronnie Milsap, Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Dunn, James Taylor, Lee Ann Womack, George Strait, Bob Seger and more. Read the full recap at Country Music Hall of Fame.
Nanci Haskin/99.5 WYCD